Picking Journal Software

I decided to start a personal journal on January 2. It was not a New Year’s resolution. I just felt it would be nice to write down somethings so I could remember them. I was particularly motivated by a trip to airport with Megan. She had brought two large suitcases home for Christmas and was worried they might be overweight. The weight limit is 50 lbs. per suitcase. Megan ended up have both suitcases right at the limit. I wanted to remember this for the next time she flys and try her be a lighter packer. 

I use a large variety of computers. I own a Mac laptop and I have both Windows 7 and Ubuntu desktops. I also have a Windows XP desktop at work. The simplest solution would probably be to put a Word file in my Dropbox folder. I have Word on all the machines but the Ubuntu, but that has OpenOffice which can read/write Word files. The only hangup is that I cannot install Dropbox at work. I would have to go to the web and download the file, make my edits, and upload it again. 

Instead I decided to try doing it Google Docs. I could edit that from my browser on all of the platforms. I used it for a few days, but I was a little bothered by the spellchecker it flags misspellings but does not offer corrections. It is certainly not very full featured. I remembered that I dad a Zoho.com account. I had used it for awhile and then stopped. It had a nice post to blog feature and it seemed better than the blog editing software at the time.

Zoho Docs is definitely more full featured than Google Docs, but I had some formatting problems. On the good side, the spellchecker offers suggested corrections and has a custom dictionary to store those names and acronyms that I use. The formatting problem seemed to be related to its different views. There is a normal view which uses the whole web browser window even if it that wider than the page I have defined. You can then switch to page view and see roughly how it will look printed. There is also a print preview view that gives even more accuracy. When I flipped back between these views I seem to have affected the word wrapping. Sometimes a line in the middle of a paragraph would start with a space. Also I tabbed over to put a date in the righthand corner. These would then be wrong in page view. I tried to fix them but they would look fine in normal view and still be messed up in page view. 

I ended up using Memoires, which does meet any of my initial criteria. It is a Mac only program, but it is designed for journal entries. It provides a calendar view. I can make multiple entries a day and it was $14.99 on the new Mac App store.  


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